A chronicle of people, places, happenings, and creations we admire.

OMA's Fondaco dei Tedeschi Opens in Venice


Dutch architecture firm OMA have recently completed the renovation of the ancient and iconic Fondaco dei Tedeschi, which sits at the foot of the solid stone Ponte di Rialto in the heart of Venice.  A truly beautiful and evocative collision of architecture preserved in situ and slick, refined opportunities, piercing elements and opulent yet contemporary materials create a healthy amount of tension between old and new.  

This unique series of interventions in the form of circulation, place-making and enclosure may prove controversial to purists who feel that the nearly 820 year-old structure should have been rehabilitated without such audacious elements disturbing the scheme.  It is presumably the opinion Koolhaas and Co., that such a significant structure should emerge more than a museum or relic, but a modern machine of multi-purpose spaces, retail and culture which (one could give a nod to sustainability) and a new relevance in the modern world which it resides.

Aynhoe Park

whimsy |ˈ(h)wimzē | (also whimsey) noun (pl. whimsies or whimseys) playfully quaint or fanciful behavior or humor: the film is an awkward blend of whimsy and moralizing.• a whim.• a thing that is fanciful or odd: the stone carvings and whimsies.

Whimsy is the theme to this Grade I-listed, 17th century Sir John Soane-designed stately home in Oxfordshire near the Cotswolds in the countryside of England.  Purchased by entrepreneur and collector James Perkins in 2008, Aynhoe Park is now a venerable destination for parties, weddings and receptions for those who require "something completely different". Celebs such as Jade Jagger (daughter of Bianca and Mick) have had celebrated nuptials there.  While Perkins' eclectic collection of taxidermy, natural history artifacts and contemporary art are found throughout the estate; it seems to be almost too much at first blush, but he somehow pulls it off.

Photos: ©Corbis / Aynhoe Park / Architexture

1965 Iso Bizzarrini AC3 Corsa LHD

This stunning historic example has been presented by UK restoration specialists DK Engineering and is now up for sale.

Images ©DKEngineering

Born out of a tumultuous relationship with Renzo Rivolta, designer/engineer Giotto Bizzarrini created what was to be a Ferrari-beater that kept exclusive company with the likes of Jaguar XKE, Ferrari 250, Ford GT40, Aston Martin DB and Lamborghini Miura as one of the most charismatic sports cars designed before or since.  The hand-beaten, thin-gauged, riveted aluminum body that would envelope an american Chevy 327 V8 made for a eclectic and effective combination in the pantheon of legendary italian sports cars of the early to mid 1960s.

DK Engineering confirms that "The car currently has valid FIA/HTP papers and is therefore eligible for numerous events during the racing calendar, including the Goodwood TT (where it started on the front row in 2014), the Spa Six Hours and the Masters historic racing series where it would be without doubt a front runner in the right hands..."


Nissan Heritage

Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. has launched an amazing website chronicling its illustrious 95-year history with stories, milestones, reference data and photography.  The various decades show clearly the evolution of the modern Japanese motorcar beginning officially in 1933 where Jidosha Seizo Co., Ltd., predecessor of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., was established in Yokohama with paid-in capital of ¥10,000,000.  Head over and see early versions of the GT-R, Fairlady Z as well as domestic (Japan) passenger vehicles and electric cars as well.  With all the beautiful images and history to pore over, its definitely NSFW.

Follow @Nissan

The Story of the Yellow Jersey

As the Tour de France begins its second week of competition, there may be those who ask the question; "why the yellow jersey?"

In the very early 20th Century (1903), Henri Desgrange, founder of the French newspaper L'Auto (predecessor to today's L'Equipe) devised the race as publicity to increase newspaper sales, which happened to be published on yellow newsprint.  The press had asked the Tour Director of the time to come up with a way for them to easily spot the race leader, ergo the Yellow Jersey was born. 

But it would not be until 1919 when Eugéne Christophe (right) would become the first ever rider to wear the Maillot Jaune during the grueling race.  He would only finish as high as 8th overall.

Eddy Merckx (1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974) ©Getty Images

Eddy Merckx (1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974) ©Getty Images

As the race grew more and more popular (and much larger) over the years and now generations, there have been more variations of such jerseys that recognize the best of the best of the Tour with jerseys recognizing the "King of the Mountain" (Polka Dot), Most Sprint Points (Green / Maillot Vert) Best U25 Rider (White / Maillot Blanc) as well as other lesser awards and classifications.

Bernard Hinault (1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1985)   © James Andanson/Sygma/Corbis

Bernard Hinault (1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1985) ©James Andanson/Sygma/Corbis

While this year's Tour is a world away in terms of bicycle technology, athletic capability and commercial attention, the yellow jersey bears no less importance, certainly a lot more now as the famous garment is looked upon globally as its own brand and a crucial vehicle in television and media.

Current Tour leader Chris Froome is fighting hard to keep back the challengers as the second Pyrenean stage goes through Tarbes / La Pierre-St. Martin.

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Eugéne Christophe, first man to wear 'Maillot Jaune" in the TdF

Eugéne Christophe, first man to wear 'Maillot Jaune" in the TdF

Greg LeMond (1986, 1989, 1990) ©ESPN Films

Greg LeMond (1986, 1989, 1990) ©ESPN Films

Chris Froome (2013) ©Reuters

Chris Froome (2013) ©Reuters

Midsommar - The most Swedish of Swedish Holidays

After the long dark winter, Swedes celebrate the summer solstice and the arrival of the midnight sun!  We eat, drink, sing, eat, drink, dance and drink some more!  Midsummer traces its roots to old pagan times and medieval observers of the Nordic Peoples recorded: "they gather in throngs on town squares or out in the fields to cheerfully enter in dance".  Through the ages, traditions and superstitions surrounding this celebration include saving your midsummer wreath until Christmas and soaking it in your bath as well as rolling around naked in the midsummer day dew -- both for health, of course!  Watch "Swedish Midsummer for Dummies" above to learn how to celebrate today.  GLAD MIDSOMMAR!        

Steve McQueen's Last Special Order Porsche - Mecum Auctions

It's no secret that the late actor Steve McQueen (Bullitt, The Getaway) was a lover of all things mechanical.  This rare, special ordered, non-intercooled 1976 Porsche 930 Turbo goes on the block at Mecum Monterey 2015. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to benefit The Boys Republic, a non-profit treatment community for troubled youngsters in Chino Hills, California. McQueen, who himself attended Boy's Republic as a wayward youth admitted that the institution had "...changed my life..."